In the coming years, game-changing technologies such as digital medicine, robotics, and artificial intelligence are going to completely revolutionize the healthcare industry. In order to improve services and ensure a sustainable practice, researcher Dr. Eric Topol says doctors must embrace these innovations and train staff on new skills.

“In a fast-changing healthcare environment, with a growing and aging population, the task of ensuring that the workforce has the skills, knowledge and time to care is essential to future proofing the NHS and its ability to meet patients’ needs,” Dr. Topol said. And while his work was focused on England’s NHS, findings apply to healthcare providers across the board.

What does that mean for your practice? Dr. Topol makes it clear that emerging technologies are going to have an enormous impact not only on the quality of care you can provide patients but how fast you can do it. As Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt said, innovative developments will allow staff to offer patients modern healthcare more widely and more quickly.

Take for example SyncThink, a device that uses VR and eye-tracking technology to diagnose a patient’s concussion symptoms within 60 seconds, or Redivus Health, an app that allows doctors and paramedics to provide life-saving support in critical health situations. With innovations like this, the possibilities for both patient care and support are near limitless.

Unfortunately, many healthcare employees lack the skills necessary to implement such technologies. Dr. Topol believes that in order to meet future demands, the workforce will need to be trained in:

  • New tools that will enable patients to take an active role in their own healthcare
  • New technology that is driven by evidence and not trends
  • Time-saving technologies that will allow professionals to deliver more suitable care

In order to provide competitive services in your own practice, it is essential to embrace new tech – and to train workers at all levels on how to use them.

Have you implemented any new technologies in recent months or years? How have they improved patient care? And what do you plan on doing in 2019?